Did you know that not all wine is meant to be aged?
LONG-TERM VS. SHORT-TERM STORAGE
As a general rule of thumb, most of the wine you have purchased from big box stores are meant for short-term storage and should be consumed within a year of purchase. If you have paid a premium price for the wine or have been instructed by the winemaker to place your wine in a cellar, it is meant for long-term storage. Generally, wines from the “old world”, namely Europe, are meant to be cellared. These wines will require specific conditions to ensure they age properly.
What Are Long-Term Storage Conditions for Wine?
If you have determined that your wine is intended for long-term storage, you will need to create an environment that mimics the wine caves of France. This usually entails the following conditions:
1. Darkness: Harmful UV rays can negatively affect the way that wine ages and change their flavors.
2. Wine racking: Wine should be rested on its side with the liquid touching the cork. This will ensure that the cork remains moist, preventing any unwanted oxidization.
3. Humidity: Cellars should be humid, but not so humid that mold starts to form. Again, this is to keep the corks from becoming dry.
4. Consistent temperature: A steady 55◦F is the ideal temperature for the long-term storage of wine. If the wine is stored inside a space that is too warm, it will age very rapidly.
5. No movement: The wine should sit undisturbed to allow the sediment to settle. Any unwanted vibration may cause a chemical reaction that affects the way the wine ages.
Residential Under Stairs Wine Cellar by Vinotemp
What Are the Short-Term Storage Conditions for Wine?
Most of your wine collection may be intended for short-term storage. This is because most wine on the market, particularly here in the United States, is meant to be consumed within a year after purchase. If you have your own wine cellar, you can store these wines there until you are ready to drink. The majority of wine lovers are not fortunate enough to have space or a budget for a wine cellar and must find an alternative.
Like wines that were intended for cellaring, inexpensive wine likes to be stored at around 55◦F. Even though you will be drinking the wine in the near future, humidity still plays a role as the corks should stay moist to prevent seepage.
You may be thinking about just popping your wine inside your kitchen refrigerator, but your fridge is far too cold and dry for short-term wine storage. This is because most kitchen refrigerators are set to 40◦F, which is perfect for milk and last night’s leftovers, but too frigid for wine. Smells inside your refrigerator from garlic, onions, and any cooked goods can also permeate the cork of the bottle and spoil the wine. For these reasons, it is better to store wine in a separate location, outside of the kitchen refrigerator.
A wine cooler is a perfect place for wine that was meant to be uncorked within a year. Wine refrigerators are designed to mimic the conditions of a traditional cellar. While they do not create humidity, they can retain it, unlike a standard refrigerator. Wine fridges have racking that will hold your bottles horizontally to keep the corks wet, a compressor or thermoelectric cellar cooling system, digital temperature control panel, lighting, and dual-paned glass doors which will help to protect your bottles from harmful UV-rays.
You can also bring your wine to serving temperature using a number of different methods that do not involve a wine fridge. You can place the bottle of wine into a bucket filled with ice and place a thermometer on the bottle to read the temperature of the bottle. Use a chilling decanter with a reservoir for an ice cup, which will cool the wine without diluting it. If you prefer an iceless method, try a champagne chiller, display chiller, chilling wrap, or a chilling stick with pourer. If you must warm the bottle, pour the wine into a decanter and let it sit at room temperature until it is at its ready to drink. There are many ways to chill your wine to serving temperature when a wine refrigerator is not an option.
Do you have more questions about short-term and long-term wine storage? Please feel free to contact our experts at 1-800-777-8466 or email email@example.com.